By Nikki Nies, MS,RD
Our society has moved away from the traditional 3 squared meals with more consumers embracing a new wave of grazing, also known as snacking throughout the day. This type of food intake has elevated and multiplied the number of snack options. Yet, like all foods, not all snacks are created equally.
We’ll be breaking down why it’s not all about calorie intake, but why refocusing on the type and serving of snack is the best route to go.
By opting for a combination of macronutrient groups, such as marrying carbohydrate and fat or carbohydrate and protein, this helps stabilize blood sugar levels with the fat slowing the assimilation of carbs into blood stream. While you may want to reach for cookies, chips, or ice cream, these snacks can spike blood sugar levels and in turn cause unrestful sleep and disruptions to hormone levels. Additionally, be mindful that caffeine rich foods, such as chocolate, may be a better option earlier in the day.
We recommend grabbing an evening snack that’s roughly 150-200 calories 15-30 minutes before bed to curb cravings. Below is a list of snack options that also happen to be fiber rich, meaning they’re great for satiety and may help lower one’s risk for chronic diseases.
Suggested snack combinations
- 1/2 cup of berries or 1/4 cup of dried fruit plus 1/4 cup of nuts
- 1/2 cup cereal with milk
- 3 cups popped popcorn and 1 tablespoon nut butter
- 4 100% whole grain crackers and 1.5 oz cottage cheese
- 4 100% whole grain crackers and 1 oz low fat cheese
- 2 Tablespoons of dressing, pesto, hummus or other dips with high fiber and raw vegetables (e.g. carrots, celery, radishes)
- 1/2 sweet potato with 1-2 tablespoons of butter and sprinkle of cinnamon
- 1 cup of broccoli with 1-2 oz melted cheese
- 1/2 banana with 2 tablespoons of nut butter
Looking for more healthy bedtime snack ideas check out this link from Women’s Health.
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